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Psychology, we are told, is NOT in crisis


In, where else, the New York Times:

An initiative called the Reproducibility Project at the University of Virginia recently reran 100 psychology experiments and found that over 60 percent of them failed to replicate — that is, their findings did not hold up the second time around. The results, published last week in Science, have generated alarm (and in some cases, confirmed suspicions) that the field of psychology is in poor shape.

But the failure to replicate is not a cause for alarm; in fact, it is a normal part of how science works.More.

Unless it is happening most of the time.

Presumably, the spinmistress heard about this: only one-third of published psychology research is reliable

Sure,  and that guy who got done for DUI is NOT in denial when he says he has no problem with alcohol.

Fittingly, this got published in the New York Times, where the drop in value and the buyouts are not a crisis either.

Americans can at least be grateful for one thing: The New York Times is NOT a *publicly funded* progressive megaphone like the BBC or the CBC (Canada).

If you just don’t read it or recommend it or take any notice of it, you also don’t need to finance it. Life still holds some blessings for you. Don’t read New York Times, read Retraction Watch.

But do catch the comments where, last I checked, many commenters seem to be getting the picture, including this one:

This piece only increased my perception that social science research is, more often than not, complete garbage. The author simply muddies the waters in an effort to protect her field, using examples of research proving invalid in real-world contexts as some sort of evidence as to why experiments proved unreliable in the first place. The author may want to firm up her understanding of “reliability,” “validity,” and the differences between them before opining on social science research, and certainly before conducting it.

Or else she should go be czar of a top federal social science policy bureau, with power to run and ruin people’s lives.

Then, whatever she says is science –  the only science the rest of us will ever know.

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Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose


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